So, if you follow my Twitter, you may have noticed that I did not originally have a very positive outloook on the new Lara Croft in the reboot of Tomb Raider. Besides her ugly haircut, it really seemed like another Metroid: Other M move, where a newer game makes a female character more of a crybaby and more weak than she was in previous games.
However, after watching the rest of the trailers for the new Tomb Raider, I’ve realized that might not be the case at all; at least, not in a bad way.
Survivor Over Everything
There are at least four new trailers, and they each show bits and pieces of the story. A young Lara Croft is off on an adventure and runs into a terrible storm. She has no training, no skills. She’s a young adventurer getting ready to go off and prove herself to the world. It’s obvious that she isn’t at all ready for what she stumbles upon. I suggest watching “Tomb Raider 9 Trailer” first.
Lara is forced to push herself. Climbing to scary heights, jumping over canyons, killing animals for food, and killing the men who try to abduct her. Watching each trailer added a vital puzzle piece for seeing the trend of the game towards an action-survival game. I also got a very Uncharted feel from it, and that’s not a bad thing, since one can argue that games like Uncharted owe a nod to the original Tomb Raider (both series owe Indiana Jones, so don’t get started on that). I am also reminded of Far Cry 3, which is another game with great gameplay. Here’s a video showing off some of that gameplay.
I really did get the sense that Lara was going to have to do things that she wasn’t comfortable with to survive, and I like that notion of actions having weight and consequences in games.
Are Tomb Raider purists going to love this game? Probably not. Although tombs are mentioned, they definitely don’t look like the sprawling tombs of past games, and most of the footage shown takes place outdoors on an island. I also didn’t see any T-Rexes or bats. >_>
Controversial Rape Scene
So let’s talk about the rape scene. Yes, some places have said it isn’t rape at all, and they’re right. That was an attempted rape, which Lara aborted by fighting for her life and succeeding in killing her attacker. As a rape survivor, I honestly felt proud of this scene. You can see the trauma, the desperation, and then the cost of victory. This is something that a young woman, stranded with a group of hostile men, would really be in danger of. It’s a realistic, not contrived, occurrence and it was handled well. You can see from these trailers that Lara gets stronger and stronger, and she continually has to push herself further and further.
Here’s that trailer:
But What About the Series?
Now, the real question will be, how will they move forward with this in the sequel? Will she end the game as her normal cool, calm, and badass Lara who we know and love? And then will the next game not involve any of this survivor vibe?
Notably, this is the first Tomb Raider game to be rated mature. As the newest game in one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, Square Enix has its hands full living up to that legacy.
Check out this behind-the-scenes look:
I honestly think they showed the wrong trailer first, and I’m very excited to check out the new Tomb Raider, which will be released March 5th for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
How far will Lara go to survive? I look forward to finding out.